Covid: Ex-footballer Bradley Orr fined for Magna Carta Covid breach

  • Published
Related Topics
Bristol City defender Bradley Orr makes a run during the Coca Cola Championship game between Bristol City and Plymouth ArgyleImage source, Getty/Stu Forster
Image caption,
Bradley Orr made more than 200 appearances for Bristol City between 2004 and 2010

An ex-footballer who claimed the Magna Carta allowed him to keep his soft play centre open during Covid restrictions has been fined more than £4,500.

Bradley Orr, who has played for Bristol City, QPR and Blackburn Rovers, was summonsed to court after refusing to close Cirque D-Play in Merseyside.

Orr claimed the 800-year-old document meant Covid rules did not apply to him.

But he was fined at Wirral Magistrates' Court for contravening a prohibition notice.

In written statements to the court, Merseyside Police said Orr, of Falkner Street in Liverpool, had refused to adhere to the former tier three local restrictions, which were in force in October and November 2020.

PC Alex Broadbent said he and another officer attended Cirque D-Play on 1 November, one day after council environmental health officers had issued Orr with a fixed-penalty notice.

PC Broadbent said there were "numerous members of the public present with children playing".

Image source, PA Media
Image caption,
Much of Magna Carta, seen here in Salisbury Cathedral, is no longer valid in law

He began speaking to an unidentified man, later revealed to be Orr, and tried to explain that the business was in breach of Covid regulations, the Local Democracy Reporting Service said.

Orr replied: "I am not entering into a contract with you. I refuse to stand under you."

Mr Broadbent added: "Orr pointed out that he had an extract from the Magna Carta on the front door of his property which he asked me to read."

The Magna Carta, signed in 1215 by King John, was a royal charter of rights designed to bring peace between the King and his barons.

Orr falsely claimed that Clause 61 meant he could ignore laws that he deems "unjust".

Although it is one of the foundational documents of English law, only four parts of the Magna Carta remain valid.

Image source, Google
Image caption,
Police and council officers repeatedly visited the soft play centre in Everton, Merseyside

In a statement to the court, PC Matthew Edwards said, during a later visit on 7 November, Orr had acted "in a childish manner" and claimed coronavirus was "make-believe".

Mr Edwards said: "Orr began to quote that the Health Regulations 2020 were only legislations and not law and that he only listened to common law."

Orr, who did not respond to either summons to court, was fined £3,960 in total and ordered to pay another £200 in costs and £366 as a surcharge for victim services.

The case was dealt with under the single justice procedure, which allows a judge to decide a case based on written evidence.

Why not follow BBC North West on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram? You can also send story ideas to

Related Internet Links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.